Central California Legal Services is a non-profit law firm. We provide free legal assistance to low income families and individuals in the following counties: Fresno, Kings, Mariposa, Merced, Tulare, and Tuolumne.
Central California Legal Services, Inc. (CCLS) partners with Tenants Together (TT) and Community Housing Council of Fresno (CHC) to offer comprehensive services to both homeowners and tenants impacted by the mortgage crisis. The project targets the counties of Fresno, Tulare, Kings and Merced.
These presentations give an opportunity to share their issues and meet with an attorney and/or financial counselor. In order to help struggling homeowners and tenants, the project conducts community education events. Topics include: avoiding foreclosure; foreclosure and eviction proceedings; Homeowner Bill of Rights; and reporting mortgage scams.
The project developed a professionally produced tri-lingual (English, Spanish, Hmong) DVD’s with information on homeowner rights, tenant rights and financial literacy. Today, copies of the videos are being mailed to 1,500 residents of properties when notices of default are recorded. Copies are also distributed during events and door-to-door visits.
The project developed a professionally produced tri-lingual (English, Spanish, Hmong) DVD with information on homeowner rights, tenant rights and financial literacy.
California Tenants' Rights in Foreclosure - http://youtu.be/GDPYNEhTQ1o
California Home Buyer Rights in Foreclosures - http://youtu.be/IFkR8E64ahU
Financial Literacy - http://youtu.be/DSLeiHgIBMM
Derechos de Inquilinos - http://youtu.be/l8miCwQ9NFw
Derechos de Dueños de Casa - http://youtu.be/jM1zApB4yog
Educación Financiera - http://youtu.be/V69EhpkBFC8
Kev cob qhia thiab kawm txog nyiaj txia / Financial Resources for Homeowners - http://youtu.be/ChDsjFWMpiM
This project is made possible by a grant from the Office of the Attorney General of California, from the National Mortgage Fraud Settlement, to assist California consumers.
CCLS Donors Help Make Highly Successful Workers’ Rights Clinic Accessible to Rural Workers
Olena Volyk our client Champion of Justice for 2013. She is just one of the hundreds of individuals helped through our successful and innovative Workers’ Rights Clinic collaboration begun in April of 2012.
Until now clinics have been conducted in Fresno only. However, numerous low-wage workers have travelled more than one hundred miles to participate. At our Champions of Justice Awards reception our supporters raised funds to to present clinics in other towns in the valley.
Find out more about Olena and the Low-Wage Workers” Rights Clinic in this video.
You too can help more workers benefit from the clinic and create more opportunities for attorneys and others to volunteer with this important project. Please help us make the clinic more accessible to rural workers. Click on the Donate Button. Thank you for your support.
Permanent Injunction Issued Against Foreclosure Consultants to Fresno to Prevent Illegal Business Practices
Farm worker Florentino Salazar of Firebaugh decided to fight back against unscrupulous “Foreclosure Consultants” scam artists that target low-income Spanish speaking residents of the central valley. Because of them, he almost lost his home. Intervention by Central California Legal Services, Inc. (CCLS) kept Mr. Salazar and his family in their home. Now a permanent injunction will prevent several companies and individuals from victimizing other people.
The injunction issued by Judge M. Bruce Smith of the Superior Court of California, Fresno County prohibits Foreclosure Counseling, Inc., Foreclosure Professionals, Inc., Legal Foreclosure Services, Inc. and individuals Edward Anguiano, Raul Pelcastre and Brenda Alvarez who owned or worked for the companies from engaging in unlawful and deceptive practices.
“The defendants operated as loan modification/foreclosure avoidance consultants in violation of the law. They operated without the required licenses and bonds, unlawfully charged advance fees, misrepresented the type and scope of their services, failed to provide the promised services, failed to obtain any benefits to their clients, and many times were the direct cause of the eventual foreclosure of their clients’ homes. The defendants’ unlawful activities were not limited to their transactions with Mr. Salazar, but rather it was their business model. This order prohibits them from engaging in those activities,” states CCLS staff attorney Ofra Pleban.
“Numerous other complaints against the defendants had been filed previously with the Fresno County District Attorney, the U.S. Attorney Office and the California Department of Real Estate (DRE). The DRE has issued an order to the defendants to desist and refrain from many of these same unlawful activities. Nevertheless they continued with their unlawful practices in complete disregard to the DRE order. CCLS is not going to let the defendants ignore this order. If they violate this court order we will seek immediate enforcement to make certain that homeowners are protected,” added Ms. Pleban.
“We applaud Mr. Salazar for standing up to defend his family and in doing so won protection for countless other families who otherwise could fall victim to these defendants. Homeowners like Mr. Salazar impacted by the foreclosure crisis will benefit from this injunction. We are pleased that a recent grant from the Office of the Attorney General of California from the National Mortgage Fraud Settlement fund will allow CCLS and our partners Tenants Together (TT) and the Community Housing Council of Fresno (CHC) to provide expanded foreclosure assistance so that we can stop other bad players like these defendant,” says CCLS Executive Director Chris A. Schneider.
Attorney Bill Krieg to Receive Equal Justice Award
The Board of Directors of Central California Legal Services, Inc. (CCLS) announced Fresno attorney William “Bill” M. Krieg as this year’s recipient of the Ronald M. George Equal Justice Award. The Board established the award in 2006 in the name of then Chief Justice George. The Chief Justice received the inaugural award for his strong and unwavering leadership and commitment to programs that increase public access to the justice system.
Mr. Krieg enjoys a long history of pro bono service with CCLS including representing clients, attorney training and mentoring of staff. “Bill and his firm have been true leaders in encouraging the courts to use the cy pres process to distribute unclaimed funds from class action settlements to organizations such as CCLS. We have benefitted from more than $400,000 in cy pres funds this past year,” states Chris A. Schneider.
Mr. Krieg, a partner in the law firm of Kemnitzer, Barron & Krieg LLP, is an experienced and highly respected trial lawyer. In 2001, he obtained the largest known jury verdict for a plaintiff in a Lemon Law case – more than $10,000,000 against Ford Motor Company. He is recognized as the California Central Valley’s Premiere Lemon Law Attorney.
The firm specializes in Lemon Law, Auto Dealer Fraud, Auto Repossession, Door-to-door Scams and Unfair Debt Collection. They take many of these cases as class actions winning millions of dollars for clients and eliminating over a billion dollars of debt for consumers. Together, the partners have 99 years combined experience as trial lawyers. They have tried individual and class actions to successful verdicts and judgments. In one settlement, they obtained debt relief exceeding $300 million, as well as thousands of new car replacements or purchase refunds.
CCLS Receives $700,000 from Attorney General
Farm worker Florentino Salazar relented to repeated high pressure calls from loan brokers and replaced a low fixed-rate loan with a high adjustable rate loan. His payments became more than he could afford and he and his family faced foreclosure. His many attempts to work with the lender failed. Two days before his home was to go on the auction block, he came to Central California Legal Services looking for help. Staff Attorney Ofra Pleban obtained a court order temporarily blocking the sale. A settlement lowered his monthly payments to an affordable amount. The family avoided homelessness. To read more, click HERE.
Thank You Tides Foundation
Central California Legal Services, Inc. is fortunate to have received $2,000 from the Housing and Economic Justice Fund of Tides Foundation. Funds will be used for general support. Thanks to Mr. Dean Preston for his recommendation.
Champions Of Justice 2012
Click on the link below for more photos of the event:
Join the Pro Bono Challenge
The Challenge seeks and encourages attorneys and firms to donate 10-50 hours a year to Central California Legal Services (CCLS). Attorneys can volunteer in many areas: court representation, advice and counsel, legal clinics, mentoring and training. Attorneys and firms can also contribute financially to organizations that provide free legal services to persons of limited income.
Please see our website for more information:
Our Monthly Worker's Rights Clinic
CCLS, Legal Aid Society of San Francisco - Employment Law Center and the Mexican Counsulate held their monthly Workers Rights Clinic. This clinic provides legal information to low-wage workers in various aspects of employment law and is held on the third Tuesday of each month.
CCLS Board Member Ana de Alba helps out at the Workers' Rights Clinic along with other attorney's who volunteer their services at the monthly clinic.
Johnathon Munoz tabling an outreach event.
Familiar with your local Tenant's Rights? Check out our resources under Client Services!